Links from the Internets: Feminist Twitter Hashtags, Nordic LARP, Hogwarts ala Monsterhearts, Finishing Games and Hawguy vs. Sandy

Feminist Hashtags

Women’s role in the gaming industry is part of a greater conversation about gender roles and stereotypes in the scientific, techie and geek spheres. These fields are often said to be dominated by men. But are they really?

As the discussion continued, participants organized the tweets with the #1ReasonWhy hashtag. Grievances were aired, issues were discussed, and the tag started getting more and more attention.

I loved how the hashtag #1reasonmentors grew out of this conversation but had to wince as the coverage, over several news sources always name-checked Luke but rarely named the hashtag’s creator, Filamena Young, who turned a well-meaning and earnest question into a valuable and eye-opening public conversation. It is almost as if the media all around us is trained to turn narratives into stories about men.

Naaah. /sarcasm

My So-Called LARP: learning to love in a world without men

Over the course of the game, I reconnected with an old friend, betrayed her trust, and gained it again during a crisis. I forged a close but suspicious bond with a fellow practitioner of realpolitik: she was a member of a survivalist group critical of government policy; I was a career soldier who worried the US was failing. I wanted her respect, and every time the game’s events put a wall between us, I tried to overcome it. But when the game ended, it all disappeared. She wasn’t a well-armed anarcho-syndicalist, and I wasn’t a disillusioned officer. Where did that leave us? When we said something to each other, how did we bridge the gap between who we really were and who we’d just pretended to be?

Hogwarts ala Monsterhearts

OK, I’mma run this at Dreamation.

Looking forward to that, Matt!

Bret talks about game design.

Tempo is a book on decision-making and how our built in sense of narrative affects our choices. The part I’m on now discusses what Rao calls the “deep story” which I think applies particularly well to long-term creative projects. The way the project flows is something like this:

– Initial burst of energy on the project
– Gradual decrease in energy and resources over time as it’s expended on the project
– Final push, do-or-die moment

It’s a familiar process for me with regards to my work on The Final Girl and Cold Soldier, but what I found interesting about Rao’s take on it is that final step.

Hawkguy vs. Hurricane Sandy

Originally, Marvel was planning to reveal a brand new villain in the pages of issue 7 of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s amazing “Hawkeye” series, but in light of the destruction and devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the company decided to push back its regularly scheduled programming to bring a special hurricane relief-themed issue.

In which one of my favorite current comic books helps with Sandy Relief.

Gaming ideas rattling around in my head.

Burn the Throne and the Crown

By the people, for the people, dammit.

I’d make up a dozen or so Burning Wheel characters for players to choose from. No noble lifepaths, dammit! No noble bastards with pretty hair looking for revenge. I was thinking of having the only martial characters being a soldier turned farmer, a failed knight and a desperate killer while the rest of the characters are guild leaders, merchants and craftsfolk. Mmmmaybe a failed apprentice sorcerer but maybe not.

The players would craft beliefs about bringing about a revolution that will end the feudal system and links to their personal lives. I don’t want the revolution to be perpetrated by a group of hooded loners with spring-knives on their wrists.


Dwarving Mining Company

By my beard, axe and anvil, let’s make some money!

Pete had this idea way back for Burning Wheel. I’d like to add a situation to it – word is that the dwarven prince is on the verge of bankruptcy, so any enterprising guilders with money to lend will have a strong pull on the throne.


School Elections

Soda machine in the cafeteria and O-negative in the nurse’s office.

A few friends were talking about the supernatural-themed novels they were writing and one is loosely based on a Monsterhearts game she played this summer. After posting a link and another FB friend saying that the game looked it cool, it took every ounce of my self-control not to jump on the opportunity with both feet and offer to run a game.

Game fast, I’m not playing RPG’s right now and that is okay.

Naturally, the election season made me think of how much fun it would be to run a high school election in a supernatural drama.


Those are a few of the rough gaming ideas rattling around in my head.

How about you?


Monsterhearts Classroom Questions & Watching Teen Wolf/Vampire Diaries

With my roommate, Sarah, and I watching Teen Wolf and Vampire Diaries for our trashy TV evening decompression, the urge to play Monsterhearts grows. They are fun shows, the kind of shows that have us talking to the television, “Oh no, she didn’t!” “Holy shit, what did he just do?!” “Wow, this episode is actually pretty damned good.” “You  missed that episode where he dated a total skanksaurus rex.” “There should be a drinking game where you drink every time he apologizes.”

There is a thread on SG brainstorming questions to ask players, here are mine (so far):

  • Why did you get expelled from your last school?
  • Why does the police chief know your name?
  • You saw something on TV and read something for school that combined to make for really fucked up dreams. What did you see and read?
  • When you were in nursery school, you and ____________ survived something crazy together and haven’t spoken since. What did you go through?
  • During the last track/wrestling/whatever meet, you saw a student athlete pushed to the limits of their body and will. What did they do and what is it you know about their personal life that makes this even more remarkable?
  • During the last Mischief Night you did something terrible to the student sitting next to you’s house. What did you do?
  • What book is the kid-who-sits-in-front-of-you-who-is-always-reading reading today?

In which Judd fantasizes about how he’d end his game-fast.

Game-fast: in which a gamer stops playing games in order to focus on other pursuits and goals.

In N.Y.C.:

  • Solo Houses of the Blooded game with Janaki where she can ride dragons, get into duels, adventure in Puzzle Houses, debate ven policy in the Senate and have sexy romances.
  • Sit down with Rob, Jason, Witt, Melissa and Janaki and play Misspent Youth.
  • Get together with Bret and run a Ghost Rider Marvel Heroic game where folks who can make it show up and guest star as their favorite Marvel characters.
  • In a Wicked Age with Bret, Janaki, and Carly with sangria and mojitos.

In Ithaca:

  • I’d show up to Barry’s house in the middle of the night, plop down World of Dungeons and a 1 Page Dungeon in my clipboard and play until the sun comes up or City of Fire and Coin, depending on who is around.
  • Sit down with Paula, B.C., Cole and Evan and play Monsterhearts on summer evenings.
  • Get my roommates, Anthony, Andrew and Sarah, to the table and make characters around Anthony’s idea of playing an Imperial Engineer in the Warhammer world using Burning Wheel.
  • Grab my old Tiefling Rogue/Sorcerer and jump into Jim, Charlotte and Aaron’s 4e game.
Visitors and Such
  • City of Fire and Coin with Drew and whoever is in arm’s reach.
  • Dust Devils with Samurai with my dad.
  • Marvel Heroic’s Civil War with Storn, Pete, Anthony, Andrew and Sarah.

But I won’t. I’m staying on target and keeping those flying monkeys in the sky. And ya know, as much as I want to game it feels good to put it aside and concentrate on what is important. It will make gaming that much more satisfying once it hits the table again.

The job search grind is grinding on me.

Links on my mind: Captain Marvel, Korra and Monsterhearts

Comics: Carol Danvers is too Marvelous for words

There aren’t a lot of female writers in comics, either, but the new “Captain Marvel” has one: Kelly Sue DeConnick, best known for manga translations. On, she described the character this way:

“My pitch (to Marvel) was called ‘Pilot’ and the take can pretty much be summed up with ‘Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager.’ Carol’s the virtual definition of a Type A personality. She’s a competitor and a control freak. … She’ll have to figure out how to be both Captain Marvel (ital) and (end ital) Chuck Yeager …”

Chuck Yeager as a super-hero is what interests me about Hal Jordan. I’m excited to see Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.

I was talking about Marvel vs. DC with Jim the other day and he said something smart, as he often does, “DC has the trinity, the big iconics but Marvel has a deeper bench.” Very true and it feels like Marvel desperately needs some rockin’ super-hero ladies in their own books, punching aliens and smacking villains.

At some point, I have to write about the Avengers cartoon. I’m nearly finished with the first season Netflix has on tap and after getting past the first three episodes, it has really picked up.

‘Airbender’ creators reclaim their world in ‘Korra’

During test screenings, though, boys said they didn’t care that Korra was a girl. They just said she was awesome.

Good Writing + Solid Storytelling = the smashing of executive marking conventional wisdom.

Monsterhearts: Queerness and the Supernatural Teen Romance Genre

Now, ever since I discovered Buffy, I have adored supernatural teen romance, as a genre (and I keep being disappointed by everything else I see in the genre, but that’s another matter), and I knew Apocalypse World was good, so I was already very excited about Monsterhearts.  But on my first read-through of my advanced PDF copy of the game, when I got to this section I was immediately completely sold on the game.

Gaming as Women has been a consistently wonderful blog, earning its place under the category, Best of the Geek, on my Google Reader.

Now that I look things over, all of these links are about geekdom and gender. Interesting.

If you have any links that are grabbing your attention, please post them into the comments.  Thanks.

Game-fasting: thinking about where table-top RPG’s fit in my life

Yes, as I talked about with Jen on the Jennisodes, I am game-fasting.

This has led to me fantasizing about what games I’d like to play and with whom.

Monsters and Hearts: In this fantasy, I have moved to New York City and we play Monsterhearts  with my lady-friend, our friend, Janira and her special friend. This is based on our love/hate relationship with Buffy and Supernatural, a love of YA fiction and seeing Janira play a teenager in a game of Shock:.

Stick it to the Man: Also a NYC fantasy game, in which there are 10 days to any given week so I can play Misspent Youth with the lady-friend and my buddies Rob,  Jason and Witt. It would be one of those games that Jason plays with his newborn on his lap. I like the idea of our first game all together being something finite that we can bring to a definite close.

The Siege: I’d love to run a BW game with my house-mate, a long time Warhammer fan. I asked him what kind of Warhammer PC he’d like to run and he said he’d like to play an Imperial Engineer. This would be a game about an Imperial Engineer fresh out of the Imperial Gunnery School in Nuln and put on the front lines of a vicious siege. If roommates wanted to play, they could pick up other characters, like an Imperial Wizard or a grizzled Sergeant.

Excelsior Highway: Another 8 days in the week NYC fantasy, where me and Bret have an evening to play Marvel Heroic Role-playing Game about Ghost Rider on a road trip or in the midst of some homemade magical event. Mayhaps friends come and play as guest starring heroes but the main adventure is about Ghost Rider kicking ass for vengeance.

Good-bye Games: I’d like to play a game with Paula and some folks, a way to say, “good-bye,” to the Ithaca gamers.  I think they’d like Monsterhearts too, actually.  Maybe an epilogue game with the Apocalypse World crew and  a good-bye game with Jim and Charlotte and Pete and Aaron.

Burning Wheel Greed: Yeah, I’d to play in a BW game with only the dwarven lifepaths with the BWHQ posse.

This is what game-fasting brings on at my current stage of game-hunger, fantasies about not only campaigns ideas but social set-ups that there are not enough days in the week to bring out and play. As much as I miss gaming, it is a relief to have that big gap of time in my week to get other things done and when I get to New York City, begin my career, move into a new place with Janaki and start a new city life, I am going to be very careful as to how I fill that time.

The more I think about it.  The more I look hard at my goals, at the short amount of time life has to offer, at the many glorious things to learn and see, the things that keep me happy, healthy and sane, I am wondering where and if gaming will fit in. I’m looking at a period of time in my life where visiting fictional places with friends just might not work at all for a while and I’m finding that exciting.

And you? What games are you thinking about playing and how is gaming fitting into your life at the moment?